Perhaps the best way to reconnect with the vital energies of the world, especially in a time dominated by increasingly intense social conflicts, is to fully embrace nature or, more precisely, to find the harmony that only animals have with their environment. In this sense, ‘One in a Billion: The Story of Devi and Laxmi‘ is not necessarily a conventional short documentary but a manifesto about how our relationship with animals directly influences our connections with other human beings. The Veganography team introduces us to a small community where respect for animals is essential to both our emotional inner balance and our relationships with society. And yet, the creators of this short film do not advocate a revolutionary “philosophy” – on the contrary, their principles are so natural and humane that, from one point of view, their project proposes a return to normality.


Without being part of their main goal, veganism and vegetarianism are, obviously, two principles defended by all those who contribute with their testimonies and stories to the concreteness of this project. In other words, the story of the rescue of a mother cow, as well as the succinct presentation of her new life with her daughter, away from the abuses of a conventional farm, circumscribes a larger thematic concern. However, despite some principles that some viewers may consider rather extreme, the filmmakers avoid the rigors of an academic discourse focused on animal studies or anthrozoology. Everything becomes, therefore, a declaration of love for life in general but also an invitation to be more receptive to the subtle energies that connect us to the entire universe.


It’s clear that the team at Veganography, along with all those who support those who dedicate their lives to caring for animals, is truly passionate about what they do. And their passion can be contagious, thanks to the way they orchestrate the footage to offer both an insight into the new home of animals rescued from human violence and the perspective of activists for whom animal tolerance is an important step towards what it should mean: human tolerance. But beyond these aspects, regardless of the opinions of some viewers, Emma Bronwyn Schwarz’s ‘One in a Billion: The Story of Devi and Laxmi’ offers a necessary moment of reflection that we welcome in our festival.